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Van fuel gauge

I?ve got a recent problem with my 2002 Oldsmobile Silhouette mini-van fuel gauge. The problem started in September, when the van had about 97,000 miles on it. Van has a 20-gallon tank & at best gets 20 miles per gallon. We usually filled the tank when there was about ? tank left & there was 240-280 miles since fill-up. We would then fill the tank with 12-15 gallons. This was consistent until the problem occurred. Suddenly, the fuel gauge has become far less sensitive. The gauge now reads about ? full when there is 240-280 miles on the tank. When we fill the tank, it takes 12-14 gallons as it should based on the mileage. The gauge rarely reads below ? no matter what the mileage, though we never put even 300 miles on the tank.

I took the van for service at the GM dealer three different times. The first time they changed the ?Fuel Level Sensor?. The second time they ran some diagnostics and indicated the sensor was performing to GM Specifications. The third time they removed, tested, recalibrated and re-installed the sensor. None of these procedures did anything to fix the problem. I was charge $300+ for the first appointment & nothing for the next two.

When I turn off the van, the gauge drops to zero as do all other gauges, so it does not appear to be a mechanical problem.

Do you have any suggestions as to what this could be?

I would look for an electrical problem. Check the wire and connections to the sensor.

Fritz, It’s A Long Shot, But Has Anyone Checked The Electrical Connector That Is Located On The Floor To The Rear Of The Driver’s Seat ? Lot’s Of Things Run Through It, Including The Fuel Gauge.

On some 2002 Silhouettes water / moisture has gotten into the connector (It’s not sealed.) and caused a little corrosion or sometimes some of the connector’s terminals may have become spread apart causing a poor or intermittent connection.